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Frog Trouble: . . . And Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs

Frog Trouble: . . . And Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs

3.6 3
by Sandra Boynton

Hang on to yer hat, Cowboy.
Yeeeee-hah! Boynton goes Country with Frog Trouble, a terrific CD and illustrated songbook of her new and wildly original Country songs. And they’re sung by a truly amazing roster of Country Music’s biggest and brightest stars: Here’s Brad Paisley with "Copycat," Dwight Yoakam


Hang on to yer hat, Cowboy.
Yeeeee-hah! Boynton goes Country with Frog Trouble, a terrific CD and illustrated songbook of her new and wildly original Country songs. And they’re sung by a truly amazing roster of Country Music’s biggest and brightest stars: Here’s Brad Paisley with "Copycat," Dwight Yoakam singing "I’ve Got a Dog," Alison Krauss on "End of a Summer Storm," Ben Folds rocking "Broken Piano," Darius Rucker with "Beautiful Baby." The lonesome-cowboy title track is performed by the low-voiced moody rocker Mark Lanegan (yes, of Queens of the Stone Age.) Add Josh Turner, Fountains of Wayne, Ryan Adams, Linda Eder, and quickly rising Country star Kacey Musgraves—all accompanied by Nashville’s finest instrumentalists—and WHOA. You’ve got yourself some mighty fine music, with a whole lot of gumption and heart.

• Boynton-illustrated songbook with full-length music CD

• 12 new songs with a whole lot of gumption and heart

• Cowboy, Country, Rockabilly, Honkytonk, Bluegrass, Blues

• Retro sound with a TRULY AMAZING All-Star Artist roster!

• Lyrics by Sandra Boynton

• Music written and produced by Sandra Boynton and Michael Ford

• Recorded in Nashville with renowned session musicians

• Boynton & Ford have written and produced three Gold Records

• Boynton has a Grammy Nomination for Philadelphia Chickens, which was also a #1 New York Times Bestseller


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Boynton (Philadelphia Chickens) returns with a fifth vibrant CD-and-illustrated-songbook collaboration. This time, she embraces country music, inspired (as a note explains) by the soundtrack of her childhood, growing up in the 1950s, singing folk songs at school and watching westerns on TV at home. With longtime songwriting and producing partner Mike Ford and top-notch musicians, including Alison Krauss, Ryan Adams, Dwight Yoakam, and Fountains of Wayne, Boynton presents 12 tunes with some familiar country themes (trucks, dogs, heartache) as seen through a child’s or parent’s eyes. In the book’s “Look While You Listen” section, select lyrics appear with Boynton’s signature animal characters. Spot illustrations dot the “Sing and Play Along” pages, which include full lyrics and musical notation. The eponymous “Frog Trouble” is a simultaneously ominous and hilarious send-up of spaghetti western soundtracks, while Brad Paisley’s band mimics his lyrics in “Copycat,” resulting in some funny musical moments: “Stop it. (Stop it!) No, seriously. (No, seriously).” In the humorously mournful “Heartache Song,” Kacey Musgraves channels Patsy Cline as she croons, “Don’t they remember—/ all the heartache so deep/ when somebody tells you/ it’s time now for sleep.” And Ben Folds is pure honky-tonk as he insists, “Some might say the piano is broken,/ but it seems to play for me.” Boynton’s spot-on humor and the performers’ talents ensure an entertaining family outing, while demonstrating just how diverse country can be. Brief profiles of the performers, humorous interstitials about good pet names and how to talk like a cowboy, and a frog-puppet craft round out the fun. Ages 2–up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 5—With a diverse cast of Country Western talent, this collaboration displays the considerable humor and artistry of the children's author, illustrator, and songwriter. Each of the 12 songs is introduced with a full-page illustration and text in Part 1, "Look While You Listen," and is found again with complete musical notation, chords, and lyrics in Part 2, "Sing and Play Along." Fonts change with a page turn. Readers will learn how to "Talk Like a Cowboy" and find a helpful list to choose the right name for dogs, horses, 'gators, and frogs. Kid-friendly, fantastic art fills the pages-pigs drive trucks and fly, frogs (with and without their cowboy hats) peek from their hiding places, critters play their instruments, and a barnyard quintet sings along. "Meet the Performers," Part 3, briefly introduces each artist for the CD with photos, recording credits, and "thank-y'alls." The (more than 33 minutes) CD includes a diversity of tempo and instrumental accompaniment: folk instruments, sound effects, virtuoso guitar, fiddle, or harmonica riffs, orchestral strings, country blues, honky-tonk piano, slow rock-and-roll. In short, everything from a rockin' line dance to a poignant tribute at the end of a summer storm is included. If the CD and eye-catching illustrations are not enough, final pages of the book include instructions and a paper design to cut out and fold into a frog puppet. Humorously entertaining for "age 1 to older than dirt," this is a must-buy for young readers and Country Western fans in all libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Kirkus Reviews
For listeners of all ages, Boynton and Michael Ford's latest CD/songbook combination presents 12 new songs in a country-western mode. In this grand collection for children and their caregivers, the producers of Philadelphia Chickens (2002) sample styles beyond country music: cowboy, bluegrass and blues, honkytonk and hillbilly rock. The book has three sections: lyrics (or at least the first verse or two), written by Boynton and illustrated with her cartoons; musical notation (melody and chords) and complete words; and performers' biographies. On the CD, the all-star collection of musicians includes names familiar to fans of the genre. They put these songs over convincingly, although it's hard to imagine there weren't some giggles along the way. The tunes, some written in collaboration with keyboardist Ford, are catchy and appealing, the arrangements simple enough to understand the words and the lyrics, which are appropriate for young children. There's heartbreak, as a bunny bewails how "[t]hey make me clean up my room"; a small boy's delight in "Trucks"; the dreamy "When Pigs Fly"; and two different versions of the titular "Frog Trouble." The background percussion for "I've Got a Dog" includes The Scotty Brothers playing spoons. "Alligator Stroll" is followed by instructions and diagrams for simple dance steps. Backmatter includes instructions for making a folded-paper frog puppet. This is children's music grown-ups won't mind hearing over and over, no trouble at all. (Songbook/CD. 3 & up)

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Related Subjects


Meet the Author

Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, writer, and songwriter. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over fifty children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. More than 60 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. She has also written and produced five albums of award-winning children’s music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold, and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum. She lives with her family on a farm in New England.


Brief Biography

"Somewhere in rural Connecticut"
Date of Birth:
April 3, 1953
Place of Birth:
Orange, New Jersey
B.A., Yale University, 1974; attended University of California--Berkeley Drama School and Yale Drama School

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Frog Trouble: . . . and Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cnwilborn More than 1 year ago
Another big hit for Sandra Boynton! I discovered these books when my grandson was born in 2008 and I have given him everyone! I also include one or two in every baby gift I give. I have also introduced my great newphews to the works of Sandra Boynton. We live in the Gator Capitol of Texas - Anahuac, home of the Texas Gatorfest and the Alligator Stroll is a huge hit with our crew!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago